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Dr. MD Stafford
Dr. MD Stafford, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1200
Experience:  20 years in private practice and attending veterinarian Missouri State University.
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MY DOG ATE DESITIN. wHAT SHOULD WE DO sHE ATE IT ABOUT A HALF

Customer Question

MY DOG ATE DESITIN. wHAT SHOULD WE DO? sHE ATE IT ABOUT A HALF HOUR AGO AND VOMITED MORE THEN 8 TIMES. SHE DRANK WATER AND NOW SEEMS TO BE SETTLED AND IS NOT VOMITING.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. MD Stafford replied 7 years ago.
You should be fine at this point, Desitin is mostly inert and will only cause localized irritation, hence the vomiting. Make sure water is available start back on food in around 12 hours.
Dr. MD Stafford, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1200
Experience: 20 years in private practice and attending veterinarian Missouri State University.
Dr. MD Stafford and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
SHE NOW HAS A WARM NOSE AND SHE IS SHIVERING. POSSIBLY DUE TO THE VOMITING. THE DESITIN HAS 40% ZINC OXIDE. WILL THAT CAUSE RENAL DAMAGE? i LOOKED AT SOME QUESTIONS ONLINE AND SOME METIONED RENAL CONCERNS.
Expert:  brisadog replied 7 years ago.

I disagree. Desitin is not inert. The zinc oxide can absolutely be toxic, luckily most dogs vomit multiple times after ingesting the cream and detoxify themselves.

 

Small dogs can sometimes retain enough of the cream to cause zinc toxicity. This can cause hemolytic anemia - the destruction of red blood cells. You should watch your dog's gums (lift her lip) to see if they become pale or yellow. Look at the whites of her eyes also to evaluate for yellowing. These can be indications of hemolysis. Also note if she seems to have difficulty breathing, or strangely red-colored urine.

 

If you see any of these, she needs to go to the emergency clinic immediately. She may need a transfusion and treatment with something called a chelator - binds zinc in her body to prevent it from doing further damage.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, please hit the green accept button. Positive feedback is always appreciated. Thanks!

Expert:  Dr. MD Stafford replied 7 years ago.

While Dr. Friend has a valid point your dog would have to have ingested a tremendous amount of zinc oxide for zinc toxicity to occur. Acute zinc toxicity occurs primarily upon the inhalation of gaseous zinc oxide. You should be fine.

Expert:  brisadog replied 7 years ago.

Again, I totally disagree. Did you know that the boiling point of Zinc Oxide is 2360 °C? If you are inhaling gaseous zinc oxide, you've got more problems than a potential zinc toxicity.


 


Zinc toxicity is most commonly seen with ingestion of a penny, nails, or creams like sunblock or diaper cream.


 


You're right, a lot of zinc needs to be ingested to cause a toxicity. 40% zinc oxide IS a lot of zinc. Think about it.

Expert:  Dr. MD Stafford replied 7 years ago.
LD 50 is around 7500mg/kg so oral toxicity is very low. Your dog should be fine. I was quoting acute zinc oxide toxicity numbers which are primarily from the chemical industry. CHRONIC exposure is quite different and can be quite a problem. 40% is just the concentration, 400mg zinc oxide per kg ointment typically, so if a typical Bichon weighs 7kg your dog would have to eat at least 15 kg to get close to acute toxicity.

Edited by mdstafford on 11/16/2009 at 12:10 AM EST